This episode of Ask GN focuses on some more technical topics – and ones which we were happy to address in more episodic fashion. The first question asked us to address why a framerate in excess of the refresh rate appears to allow smoother gameplay. It's a good question, too; it'd seem like the excess doesn't actually add anything, if just thinking about a 60Hz target, but there's a lot more to it than that.
This topic leads to discussion on monitor overclocking and VRAM measurements and consumption. We've previously covered monitor overclocking, for the curious, and we've also previously talked about how GPU-Z doesn't accurately measure VRAM consumption. It's more a measurement of VRAM requested by the game, and because some games will just ask for all the memory, it's hard to know how much is actually utilized (rather than reserved). We talk about that more in the content below:
We're still on the road – but it's almost over. For now. Last “Ask GN” update, we were posting from the Orange County / LA area for some hardware vendor visits that we'd done. This episode, despite being filmed at the usual set, we're posting from the San Jose area. It worked out to be: LA > Home > LA (CitizenCon) > San Jose, all in a span of about 3 weeks.
But we're here for another day before returning to hardware reviews. For this episode, we discuss the question of using a FreeSync display with a higher-end nVidia card versus a lower performing AMD card, VRM blower fans and if they do anything, the 6700K vs. 6600K, and revisiting old GPUs. The last question is one that we've already begun working on.
“Ye-- ye cain't take pictures h-- here,” a Porky Pig-like voice meekly spoke up from behind the acrylic windshield of a golf cart that'd rolled up behind us, “y-ye cain't be takin' pictures! I'm bein' nice right now!”
Most folks in media production, YouTube or otherwise, have probably run into this. We do regularly. We wanted to shoot an Ask GN episode while in California, and decided to opt for one of the fountains in Fountain Valley as the backdrop. That's not allowed, apparently, because that's just how rare water is in the region – don't look at it the wrong way. It might evaporate. Or something.
But no big deal – we grab the bags and march off wordlessly, as always, because this sort of thing just happens that frequently while on the road.
Regardless, because Andrew was not imprisoned for sneaking a shot of the fountain into our video or taking two pretzel snacks on the plane, Ask GN 29 has now been published to the web. The questions from viewers and readers this week include a focus on “why reviewers re-use GPU benchmark results” (we don't – explained in the video), the scalers in monitors and what “handles stretching” for resolutions, pump lifespan and optimal voltage for AIOs, and theoretical impact from HBM on IGPs.
This episode of Ask GN (#28) addresses the concept of HBM in non-GPU applications, primarily concerning its imminent deployment on CPUs. We also explore GPU Boost 3.0 and its variance within testing when working on the new GTX 1080 cards. The question of Boost's functionality arose as a response to our EVGA GTX 1080 FTW Hybrid vs. MSI Sea Hawk 1080 coverage, and asked why one 1080 was clock-dropping differently from another. We talk about that in this episode.
Discussion begins with proof that the Cullinan finally exists and has been sent to us – because it was impossible to find, after Computex – and carries into Knights Landing (Intel) coverage for MCDRAM, or “CPU HBM.” Testing methods are slotted in between, for an explanation on why some hardware choices are made when building a test environment.
Posting a day before we begin our on-site PAX West coverage, Ask GN episode 27 starts off with an introduction to our newly deployed 20TB Synology DS1515+ NAS, then moves on to Sandy Bridge longevity, VRM temperatures, and cooler orientation.
As for the NAS, it's an interesting topic to us. We're new to working with high-quality, network-attached storage solutions, but the move has become necessary. Eating ~100GB/week with video content, it is no longer feasible for GN to store its media production assets, test data, and OS images on a single, shared internal RAID. The Synology unit accommodates five 3.5” disks (and also has upgradeable RAM – something we'll soon benchmark), affording us a RAID5 configuration with ~14.5TB usable space and one redundant disk. The NAS is accessible through a web interface, something we've already used while on the road for the recent London nVidia event and will use for PAX. This helps us manage security without inhibiting access.
This week's Ask GN episode answers viewer questions about FinFET vs. Planar, the impact of cooling on power consumption, CPU load for 120Hz / 144Hz displays, liquid cooler testing, and a few extras. We spend most the time talking liquid coolers and cooler testing – a fitting topic, having done multiple “Hybrid” video card builds lately.
The full list of questions with their timestamps can be found below the video. Thanks to our viewers for the questions and, as always, post more in the video comments on YouTube for inclusion in next week's episode.
This episode of Ask GN 25 carries our content output while we travel, granting a brief reprieve from the unrelenting GPU reviews of late. As always, post questions on the YouTube video page for potential inclusion in the next Ask GN episode. If you've got a non-GPU question, those would be greatly appreciated to break-up the content!
For this episode, we're focusing on the question of Fast Sync vs. V-Sync, talking GPU binning, the impact of power supply selection on overclocking headroom, and more. The very last comment in the video will address our RX 480 Endurance test – mostly difficulties with crunching and presenting as much data as we've collected.
Video and time stamps below:
It's crazy to think that we've done 24 Ask GN episodes. The very first episode didn't even use our current video set – it was set in the temporary set, which featured a gray sheet against a wall and a folding card table. Content quality and quality of questions have both gone up. Be sure to leave your questions on the YouTube video for inclusion in next week's episode.
We're back today with Episode 24, which addresses diminishing returns on overclocking (and why reducing the clock can improve performance), safe RX 480 temperature targets, PCIe lanes between the chipset and CPU, and limited GTX 1080 AIB partner card differences.
This latest episode of Ask GN (#22) celebrates our achievement of 50,000 subscribers, thanks to viewers spreading the word, readers who've been with us for years, and years of hard work by our team. It's taken us a while, but our YouTube channel is now achieving parity in view count with the website, and we're finally getting into a good swing of things with video production. It's fun to add that extra content to the pipeline, produce, and find new ways to expand the website's hardware projects.
This episode answers why undervolting on an RX 480 can help sustain more stable frequencies and higher performance, talks the GTX 1080 VRM/phasing and why they're not all magical overclockers, and addresses a few other questions. All questions are in the timestamps below.
We're getting close to the June 29 release date of the AMD RX 480 GPU, and we're still tailing the Pascal launch of nVidia's GTX 1080 and GTX 1070. That's planted these last few episodes of Ask GN firmly within graphics territory, with most questions revolving around the pricing and availability of the newest cards.
This episode focuses on the “actual” availability and pricing of the GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 (read: we've been told by AIB partners to expect more supply by mid-late July), pricing, the RX 480 vs. the GTX 970, and more. Some of the topics under the “more” category talk motherboard impact on FPS, UEFI vs. Legacy follow-ups, and PC thermals.
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